asked the Secretary of State for the Colonies if he is aware of the high prices of goods imported into Mauritius from Britain; if he will state the existing level of the cost-of-living index; and the steps that are being taken by the Government of Mauritius to stabilise the prices of essential commodities.
The index for clothing, which forms the bulk of essential imports from the United Kingdom, now stands at from 250 to 300 compared with 100 in 1939. The prices paid for British goods by Mauritius are no higher than those paid by other importing countries, and British prices compare favourably with current world prices for similar goods. The cost-of-living index is at present 295 compared with 100 in 1939. The Government stabilises the prices of essential foodstuffs by subsidisation, and regulates the prices of other essential commodities by controlling profit margins.